Archive for February, 2012

Happy Day…

Or, year, rather…

Still dealing with “the crud” (say it with me, “antihistemines are wonderful things”), but I did want to say “Happy Leap Year.”

That is all.

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Dodging the Crud

I’m not sure what’s happened in the last couple of days… I’m thinking a mix of weather shock (triggering allergies) and doing some moving/relocation stuff at work (stirring up lots of dust from places that hadn’t otherwise been touched in years. YEARS.), so while I may have some pithy remarks this evening, I may not be posting anything again until tomorrow, just so I can crash and try to recover.

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Catching up….

I’ve been busy with some things here at the house, but there’s a couple of things I wanted to mention that I’ve noticed over the past couple of days.

First, I was saddened to read that Jan Berenstein died over the weekend. I remember reading some of the older stories, or watching the various TV specials and shows when I much younger. Sharing those stories with my own children is something I look forward to.

Amazon is mucking around in the ebook sandbox again, which is sad. But it also makes me happy that Amazon hasn’t been my primary go-to place for ebooks… and if things stay this way, I’m not likely to convert anytime soon.

Apple has sent out invitations to a new event for next week. Rumor has it that it could be for an iPad 3… I’m still thinking that it’s not a “must have” item (yet), but I have thought about maybe getting one for Mary Catherine depending on what happens on the college application front… but even then not quite a 100% need… but it will be nice to see what the new specs and features might be… I also wonder if there may be a new iOS version coming into discussion as well.

I also noticed, over the weekend, that the next Mac OS version (Mountain Lion) has been revealed… with iCloud integration and porting some of the iOS apps back to the computer (Reminders and Notes, I’m looking at you) will be a nice addition.

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A Little Limp for MVM

I’m a later Limp Bizkit fan… some of the earlier stuff is good (like “Break Stuff,” “Nookie,” and the cover of “Faith”) but I take them more on a single basis over the full albums, until Starfish and Results May Vary. Both of those albums, when I had them, were in regular rotation in my driving music. In the middle of that, they contributed a song to the MI: 2 soundtrack (which was itself a pretty good collection of songs)… While I’m not surprised there was a video made for it at the time, I don’t think I had actually seen it until I found it while preparing this week’s entry. So here you go… “Take a Look Around.”

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News From the Web….

A few things that have intrigued me this week… mostly my writerly/readerly sensibilities, but I found interesting nonetheless…

First, from Neil Gaiman’s blog he mentions a couple of projects that he is working on, notably:

Currently I’m mostly writing the HBO American Gods first episode. I’m really enjoying it, partly because a lot of what I’ve written isn’t in the book. It’s implied in the book, or talked about generally, or referred to obliquely, but it’s scenes I hadn’t written. So I feel that I’m doing new work, even if it’s not new. If you see what I mean.
And, strangely, it seems to be feeding in to the next American Gods book, which is what I’m sort of working on right now. (Actually, I’m writing a short story that comes after Monarch of the Glen and before The Next Book. But it feels organically needed.)
To which I say, “Hot damn. I know what’s going to be going on my gift idea list when they go into production.” If you haven’t read American Gods, I highly recommend it. It’s one of those slightly off stories that, well… think something like the Royal Rumble with a variety of mythologies but that’s a huge over-simplification. There are lots of subtleties with names, some I caught right off, but a couple didn’t register until much later. And the fact that there’s (potentially) a – what, mini-series? – that could be going into production… Definitely something I would be interested in watching.
The other item regards J. K. Rowling:
“Harry Potter” creator J.K. Rowling will publish her first book for adults, it was announced Thursday. Publisher Little, Brown will bring the book to shelves simultaneously in the U.S. and Britain at an unannounced future date. Its title has not yet been revealed.
I think it will be interesting to see how this one develops, once a title or synopsis starts coming out. Am I going to be waiting in line to get a copy? To soon to tell (besides, that’s what the internet is for, right?), but I won’t object to at least checking it out, just to see where she goes after Harry Potter.

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Who’s Law is it?

While at Boskone last weekend, one of the Sunday panels I went to was “Top 10 Tips for the Aspiring Author” and two members of the five person panel were John Scalzi and Patrick Nielsen Hayden. It was a good time, and some good advice was given, and sometime during the conversation Patrick had scratched something onto a notepad. John saw it, pointed and nodded, and they chuckled for a moment as the discussion went on around them. Later, as the hour was drawing to an end, John piped up, “I’d like Patrick to talk about this thing he’s written down.” Which the moderator then seconded.

“Wheaton’s Law… Don’t be a dick,” he said, and then they elaborated a little bit.

Somewhere in the row behind me, of to the left, I heard someone gasp then mutter, “Joss Wheadon?” The tome and way the person said it stuck me like they were huge Wheadon fans that thought they knew everything that he had done and said and were marveled that they had never heard this tidbit before.

Um, no… sorry. It’s not Wheadon but Wheaton – for Wil Wheaton. You can even look it up.

Just saying…

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Lobster, Oh How I Love You…

While we were in Boston, one of the places we ate was “this little hole in the wall”* known as Anthony’s Pier 4.  I was introduced to loster back in 1987, when we all went to Charleston so my parents  could go to his company’s Christmas party. It was a Surg & Turf menu, with leftovers coming home to me and my sister.

Jump forward almost 25 years to this trip to Boston.

I started lunch with a bowl of Lobster Bisque. Then we met Clyde

This is Clyde. He wasn’t happy about me getting the bisque. “That was my cousin Pinkey, you bastard.” He joined us for lunch, thinking he would intimidate us.

After he took of his coat and sat down at our table, this is how Clyde was dressed… it’s called the “Savannah” style, and features such major accessories as cheese and mushrooms. He thought it would be intimidating.


It wasn’t. We gutted him and sent him back to the kitchen. He sent this Sticky Toffy Pudding as a peace offering.


It worked, and we parted on reasonable terms. He’s expecting us next time we go back to Boston, and will welcome us with open arms.

* Note the intended sarcasm – it’s actually a very nice restaurant, with a great water overlook. I highly recommend going by. Prices are a bit steep, but it’s not a Crab Shack so it’s to be expected. And you definitelty get what you pay for!

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Back at the Grindstone…

Right – here’s a fuzzy flurry of thought. I may miss something, but such is the way things go when writing significantly after the fact.

Boston: A good time. My first two trips were just land-and-ride, so I only saw Boston through either the rolling windows of the shuttle service or the windows of the hotel. Depressing, really, considering how long I had been wanting to go to Boston. But not the third time. This time, MC and I took a cab up to the Qunicy Market area, and walked around and across to Boston Common. We walked around the South End (around World Trade Center and piers).

It was good to get out and stretch the legs, and also bash the myth of distance.  Looking at maps, the distances between points looked larger – longer walking distances, etc. – than what reality proved. That was a nice discovery. And the fact that the weather was manageable (a balmy range of 40s – 50s, clear sky, and no snow the entire time we were there) made that discovery even sweeter.

Boskone: Another good year at the conference. Raided the “freebie” table for a metric shit-ton of back issue Assimov’s and F&SF magazines because of stories by particular authors (for, um, research, yeah)… and only a couple of books.

Still some more to post (a story about Lobsters – and I don’t mean the Strossian variety), but that will be later…

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Catching Up…

It’s been a busy day at the house, and I’m still playing some catch-up from the past week in Boston… more thorough updates in the next 48 hours… promise.

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Boston: It’s a Love/Hate thing…

Ask most of the group I grew up with and they will probably tell you I am a Boston fan. In our group, whenever we played basketball and pretended we were representing a pro team I was that guy who always took the Celtics. In an era where almost everyone else was pulling for the Bulls, that was huge. Almost blasphemous.

But I like Boston more than Chicago, so that’s okay.

But there are a couple of things I… not so much hate but think it’s unfortunate about Boston (for me, not the city itself).

First,  it’s so far north. Understand, this isn’t a bad thing itself, it just makes it difficult to do a weekend getaway by driving. (Also not such a bad thing… have you seen how some of the folks drive?) The lattitude is unfortunate though because it took me until I was in my 30s to get there, and even then it’s been touch and go (land at the airport and cab to hotel, but not much of the city).

Second, it’s huge. Also, not a bad thing, but there’s a learning curve for getting around and knowing how to navigate the T. It’s just easy for the uninitiated to get lost. True of anyplace, yes, but the bigger the city the more profound the sense of confusion.

But, for the sake of research (I do have a WIP that I am setting in Boston), I am willing to suffer the slings and arrows of exploration…

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